Hennepin Co. Sheriff investigates how commander's car was abandoned in Wisconsin ditch

The commander has reportedly been demoted following the weekend incident.
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Bob staupe

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has launched an investigation after one of its squad cars ended up in a ditch over the weekend more than 100 miles from the Twin Cities.

The squad car was found in Burnett County, Wisconsin, with Sheriff's Dave Hutchinson announced Thursday that the department has "launched an internal employment investigation into this incident.

"Because the matter is under investigation, I hope people understand that I cannot comment any further."

The Burnett County Sheriff's Office said the sheriff's squad car, which was unmarked, was found at 10 p.m. Saturday in Rusk Township, northwestern Wisconsin.

It's since been reported by MPR News, among others, that the car belongs to Major Bob Staupe, a law enforcement veteran and a commander in the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department.

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On Wednesday evening, KSTP reported that Staupe has since been demoted to lieutenant, and is now on leave.

The sheriff's office confirmed that Staupe was on-call that night and was responsible for responding to any emergencies in the county. The TV station also notes that Staupe owns a lakeside cabin near to where his car was found.

His profile on the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office website reveals he has served with the office since 1995 and is responsible for the enforcement services bureau, which requires "overseeing enforcement services, communications, and volunteer services."

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